Back-to-School Activity Time
Pizza-Box Portfolio: After artwork has had its premier showing on the kitchen refrigerator, carefully pack it away in a pizza-box portfolio! Go to your local pizza parlor and ask for an unused pizza box (if you can, ask for a box to accommodate each child in your family). Have your child decorate the box with crayons and markers, and write his or her name, grade, and school year on the side of the box. Pizza-box portfolios are great space savers—they stack neatly and even hide under beds.
Easy Calendar Markers: Once the school year starts and you and your family are back in a busy schedule, it can often be difficult to remember which child has soccer practice, which has piano lessons, and when! Purchase a packet of round color-coded stickers found at most office supply stores (for a multi-kid family, use a different color sticker and ink per child), and mark each child's event on the stickers (you can even color-code the type of events with different colored stickers). Put them on your family calendar to keep track of all your family's activities. You will definitely have the most colorful calendar in town, and be organized, too!
Fun School Recess Games
Practice your playground games with these tried-and-true activities that have been children's favorites for years.
- H-O-R-S-E: Try this fun variation of an old basketball game. One player takes the ball and makes a "trick" shot (backwards, sideways, and so on). If he or she succeeds, the other players then try to duplicate the shot. If players can't duplicate the shot, they earn an "H." When everyone has tried this shot, the first player does another crazy shot, and the others try to follow suit. If kids don't make the shot the second time around, they earn an "O." This continues until someone racks up all the letters and spells the word "horse," at which point that player is out of the game. Play until all but one player and the originator of the trick shot are left. Then these two children can play the final round and see who makes the most baskets in a specified amount of time (or some similar tie-breaking activity).
- Giggle Belly: Have one player lie down on his back. The next player lies down with his head resting on the first player's belly, the next player lies down with her head on the second player's belly, and so on. Arrange all the players on the floor or lawn outdoors, each with his or her head on someone else's belly. Now the first player shouts out loud and clear, "HA." The second player responds with a vigorous "HA, HA." Then the next player answers with "HA, HA, HA," and so on. Continue until all the players have shouted out their "HAs" or have disolved into uncontrollable laughter, their heads bouncing on the bellies of giggling friends and family.
- Jump the Trap: Tie someone's shoe to the end of a long jump rope. Then, one player holds the shoeless end of the rope and spins it around—not too fast—so that the rope sweeps in a circle. Players must jump over the rope as it passes them. If the shoe hits a player's foot or leg, he or she is out. The last person still jumping gets to turn the rope during the next round.